What you need to know:
If you have no savings and spend more money than you earn, it could be a sign of unhealthy money habits.
Many people spend a lot of time thinking about making more money. Whereas some think about saving, others are constantly finding new ways to spend their money (consciously or unconsciously) as their income increases.
But taking control of your financial future requires you to have a good financial mentality.
Just like the old adage, ‘Old habits die hard,’ this is true when it comes to bad money habits.
Psychologists and financial analysts believe that something you think about so often, something you want so badly, can have a negative effect on you.
But you have to change the way you think about money.
Money and emotions
Ms Naome Kiwooma, a psychologist says acquiring a healthy money mindset involves steps and understanding take to finally get a grip on your ‘out of control’ money habits.
“You can start talking about creating a healthy money mindset. This means you must answer the question of how is a money mindset formed? A number of our core beliefs about money are formed in early childhood by observing and internalising the money messages we learned from our parents, community, caregivers and friends,” Kiwooma says.
She adds that your money mindset is your unique set of beliefs and attitude about money. This is the basis of the decisions you make about saving, spending and handling money.
“People who have a healthy money mindset believe things such as having the liberty to spend or not to purchase,” she says, noting that the money mindset is your unique set of core beliefs and attitudes about money and how money works in the world.
Bad money habits
If you find yourself without savings and spending more money than you earn, it could be a sign of unhealthy money habits. It is therefore a wake up call to drop those bad spending habits and start working towards better financial habits.
“When you build good or healthy money habits, you can learn how to budget, save money, work towards your financial goals and increase your wealth which can in turn result in financial success,” she adds.
Mr Elly Karuhanga, chairman, Private Sector Foundation Uganda, says there is need to have a complete change towards our attitudes to work if we are to have a healthy money mindset.
“The attitude determines your vision, the way you think and work and how to get out of poverty,” Mr Karuhanga says, adding that it is a key factor that also enables you to be able to access finances that can be used to invest rather than wasting the financial resources.
Ms Lydia Mirembe, manager Corporate and Public Affairs, The Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) says whereas the word “healthy” is subjective, let’s say that a money mindset is the sum total of one’s beliefs and attitudes towards money.
“Everyone may have a different view of what a healthy money mindset constitutes. But for purposes of effective management of one’s money, a healthy money mindset is the one that enables you to make financial decisions that take you forward; decisions that enable you to attain your goals and aspirations. A healthy money mindset enables you to look at money as an enabler,” Ms Mirembe says.
Developing a healthy money mindset involves several considerations.
Miremebe emphasises that you must understand and appreciate the value of money. This means you must understand how to make, invest and use money to take yourself forward.
“All this knowledge comes from your daily experiences with money. Do you use your money prudently or are you wasteful? Do you have a budget upon which you base your expenses? What company do you keep and how do they influence your money decisions? Where do you go when you need more information and knowledge about money? She asks.
She adds: “If you constantly check your money habits, you will realise a mindset shift. We are not talking about developing a mean streak and being stingy. We are talking about knowing your priorities and how they fit within your budgetary boundaries.”
A money mindset
Mirembe elaborates that a healthy money mindset should motivate you to spend on the things you like and enjoy, without overshooting your limits. With a healthy money mindset, you work with the belief that money is meant to enable you to scale your aspirations – without necessarily making you self-absorbed.
“Nothing beats education and knowledge. Always seek more knowledge and understanding of how money works. That way, you will improve or change your money mindset.”
There are a number of questions one needs to ask themselves weighing in on their beliefs and attitudes about money.